LAHORE - Prime Minister Mian M Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday appointed an interim management committee to take control of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
The prime minister announced the necessary amendments in the PCB constitution to affect its supersession by the interim committee. The interim committee comprises acting chief Najam Sethi, former PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, former captain Zaheer Abbas, ex-player Haroon Rasheed and ex-national team manager Naveed Akram Cheema.
The interim committee has been directed to elect one of its members as chairman and this post went to Najam Sethi who was already working as caretaker chairman of the board since late July.
The move to appoint an interim committee was expected for a while since Sethi was unable to exercise full powers because of a judgment by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) in August on a constitutional writ petition challenging the election of his predecessor Zaka Ashraf.
With October 18 given as the deadline by the court to the PCB to hold elections, the Prime Minister, who had initially appointed Sethi to head the cricket affairs, using his constitutional powers on Tuesday announced the new set up.
A PCB spokesman said that the PM had taken the decision in view of the prevailing state of affairs of the PCB with regard to its constitution and the directions given by the Islamabad High Court and the pending intra-court appeal in the same court.
"The Patron of PCB i.e., the Prime Minister of Pakistan has been pleased to direct the following: 1. Paragraph Section 41 of PCB Constitution has been amended and under the said paragraph the Board has been superseded. An Interim Management Committee (IMC) has been constituted to ensure that PCB remains enabled to continue to perform day-to-day domestic and international functions for the promotion of the game and in line with the directions of the Court," he said. He also said that the interim committee would remain in power for 90 days as per the constitution, within which fresh elections of regional associations and the new chairman of the board would be held.
He added since Sethi was already in London to attend the ICC executive board meetings, he was elected to head the interim committee as well.
This is not for the first time that the PCB has been superseded by an interim or ad-hoc committee but the inclusion of some Pakistani cricket stalwarts in the interim committee is an indication that the prime minister is serious about re-organising cricket and board affairs.
Shaharyar Khan has remained chairman of the board between 2003 and 2006 while Zaheer Abbas is a former Test captain and Haroon Rasheed a former Test player who has held several important positions in the PCB including that of chief selector, manager, coach and administration. The PCB has mostly been run by ad-hoc committees since its inception in 1948, but a proper board structure was set up in 2007. Pakistan's president has traditionally been the board patron and has had responsibility for appointing the PCB chairman.
The procedure has been contentious and earlier this year the board was forced to introduce a new constitution after the International Cricket Council (ICC) ordered an end to political interference.